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Kinship by Covenant: A Canonical Approach to the Fulfillment of God's Saving Promises (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library) Hardcover – June 16, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0300140972 ISBN-10: 0300140975 Edition: First Edition

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Kinship by Covenant: A Canonical Approach to the Fulfillment of God's Saving Promises (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library) + A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God's Covenant Love in Scripture
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Product Details

  • Series: The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library
  • Hardcover: 589 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; First Edition edition (June 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300140975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300140972
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #528,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


A magisterial biblical theology.... A deep, detailed and consistent theological vision... Hahn's skill in assembling disparate canonical and historical-critical elements... alone warrants acclamation.  --A.K.M. Adam (Catholic Biblical Quarterly)

The breadth and depth of this book are extraordinary. Hahn has a remarkable ability to integrate exegetical insights into an overarching theological synthesis. It is difficult to overestimate its explanatory power.
--Brant Pitre (Nova et Vetera)

This masterly inductive exploration of the covenant offers a sure-footed analysis of Scripture. Its rigor is matched by a willingness to take the theological exegesis of the NT seriously.  --Kent E. Brower, Journal for the Study of the New Testament

A robust constructive proposal for understanding the fundamental structure of Scripture.... Hahn has done his homework....  This book should be read by biblical scholars and theologians alike. --Leroy Huizenga, Bullein for Biblical Research

Professor Hahn pays close attention to critical scholarship and sees historical criticism and canonical criticism as complementary..... A wide-ranging and stimulating work. --John Goldingay, Journal of Theological Studies

"Both well-written and exhaustive, this impressive work will fascinate readers with New Testament truths about God's unyielding covenant with his chosen, fallible people."—David Noel Freedman
(David Noel Freedman)

"Scott Hahn opens new vistas, chases down old haunts, and leads us to a fuller, deeper, and more penetrating understanding of covenant. Until we get 'covenant' right, we simply don't understand the Bible. When I think of the word 'covenant,' I think of Kinship by Covenant. When I have any questions about 'covenant,' this is the first book I will turn to for ever and a day."—Scot McKnight, North Park University
(Scot McKnight)

“At last Scott Hahn’s Kinship by Covenant is published! Maintaining a masterful command of the data on biblical and ancient near eastern covenants, the work exposes how, for over a century, biblical scholarship lost sight of the covenant as a kinship-forging ritual. Richly documented, theologically profound, the book will prove an invaluable resource in Old and New Testament study.”— Gregory Yuri Glazov, Seton Hall University, Immaculate Conception Seminary
(Gregory Glazov)

"Kinship by Covenant is thoroughly researched and lucidly argued. Those with a serious interest in a biblical theology of covenants will not want to miss Hahn's contribution."—Brandon D. Crowe, Westminster Theological Journal
(Brandon D. Crowe Westminster Theological Journal)

"Learned and well-written."—Jon D. Levenson, Journal of Religion
(Jon D. Levenson Journal of Religion)

From the Back Cover

"This book is the fruit of an immense amount of research in the contemporary study of the divine covenants in Scripture.  No one who takes up the challenge of reading it, whether scholar or not, will come away without being more astute in matters human and divine.  The thesis of the book is masterly in its basic insight: life lived under the biblical covenant cannot be separated from life lived in relationships shaped by family ties and terms.  It is the family which is central to the biblical view of life for the simple reason that the family is central to life itself."
James Swetnam, S.J. - Pontifical Biblical Institute (Rome) 

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Scott's book began as his doctoral thesis.
Amazon Customer
Reading Kinship by Covenant was very much like reading N.T. Wright's Resurrection of the Son of God.
Taylor Marshall
This book is extremely well researched, well documented and well written.
James Daffron

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on July 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Scott's book began as his doctoral thesis. Over a decade later, he has now written this exhaustive and superb book on the meaning of covenant.

Oddly, there has been a "dearth of scholarship...on...covenant research in the Old Testament" (p 17) connected to the research on the historical Jesus. Yet covenant is one of the overarching themes of the bible. "The study of God's covenant in history will consist largely of a series of thematic connections and conceptual links, all of which are related to kinship" (p 21).

There are three kinds of covenant in the bible--kinship, treaty, and grant. Throughout the bible, familial terminology like father, husband, and son are used in connection to covenant.

Scott argues that covenant was a sacred oath which could never be shattered. The penalty for breaking covenant was death (sin). Israel's "identity and mission can be defined in terms of divine sonship (p 91), but Israel was only to be the 'firstborn' son, indicating there would be more.

Indeed, each covenant in Israel's history anticipates and finds fulfillment in the subsequent covenant. As, for example, Abraham's willingness to sacrifice Isaac foreshadows God's willingness to sacrifice his own son. Or as Melchizedek's bringing bread and wine foreshadows Jesus' bread and wine later.

The golden calf episode, in which Israel rejects God and worships an idol instead, is the pivotal event, the 'hinge' as Scott explains, (p 151) which jeopardizes their covenant. It ends the covenant of perpetual priesthood and begins the Levitical covenant which lasts until 70 AD (p159-66).
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Taylor Marshall on September 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Scott Hahn's Kinship by Covenant is a revised and updated version of his 1995 doctoral dissertation Kinship by Covenant: A Biblical Theological Study of the Covenant Types and Texts in the Old and New Testaments published for the Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library.

The great biblical scholar, David Noel Freedman (d. 2008), recognized that Scott Hahn's Kinship by Covenant "adapts Dual Covenant Hypothesis: namely, the apparent contradiction between God's covenant with Abraham and the covenant with Moses on Sinai" (book's preface). Hahn reassesses how the New Covenant authors contrast the various covenants established at Moriah (Abraham and Isaac), Sinai (Law), Moab (Deuteronomy), and Zion/Moriah (New Covenant). Accordingly, the New Covenant does not "supercede" the Mosaic Law--rather the New Covenant, in a sense, "precedes" the Mosaic Covenant by a return to and expansion of the covenant made with Abraham.

Hahn shows appreciation for E.P. Sanders' scholarship regarding covenantal nomism, but he also supplies a subtle criticism of Sanders for not maintaining the "tensions and discontinuity" between Scripture's covenantal relationships (pp. 239-41). Kinship by Covenant also complements the work of N.T. Wright by showing how the Deuteronomic curses relate to the magnanimous conditions of the New Covenant (p. 252 ff).

Hahn expands the work of covenantal scholars Meredith Kline (Reformed) and D.J. McCarthy (Catholic), by demonstrating that the divine economy often begins with a Kinship Covenant (divine promises), moves to a Treaty Covenant (divine law), and then ends in a Grant Covenant (divine oath). This pattern can be mapped as "Adam as created" > "Adam being tested (and failing)" > "Adam receiving promise of redemption" (Gen 3:15).
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Christopher C. Longbine on July 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the kind of scholarship we need more of. This book is well researched and laid out and written in a way that is easy to follow and easy to understand. Sometimes the author assumes more scholarship on the readers part than is probably actually afforded (such as the New Perspective on Paul) but it is easy to render for yourself these days with internet and lay-friendly books available on Amazon. Other than the few times I had to stop and look something up the book was thick with meaning and deep with theology that was not over my head. I am not a Catholic, the author is, but I found nothing overtly Catholic about this book (I have read some negative comments about this author and his Catholicism). In fact it was informative and "true to scripture" (I am not trying to make that mean more than it is as plainly written). I applaud Dr Hahn for his work and look forward to perusing other books he has authored. May God richly bless our journey for truth.

I would absolutely recommend this book to ANYONE who has an interest in covenants, covenant theology, or simply in understanding the Bible better.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James Daffron on October 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is extremely well researched, well documented and well written. It has pulled together many of my suspicions and added to them is an easier to read and well thought out approach.

While the material is deep, it can be understood by most Bible students and will add greatly to their understanding. Even a one time through read would create a depth of understanding of God's love and His Covenants with His people that will open up a greater and deeper understanding of the Scriptures. An in-depth study, by a serious student will greatly bless and enhance the study.

Be prepared to have a new awareness and a new openness to Covenant Theology.

James Daffron, PhD
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More About the Author

Dr. Scott Hahn is the author (or editor) of over forty books, including best-selling titles like Rome Sweet Home, The Lamb's Supper, Hail Holy Queen, A Father Who Keeps His Promises, Lord Have Mercy, First Comes Love, Swear to God, Understanding Our Father, Scripture Matter, Spirit and Life, Understanding the Scripture, Catholic Bible Dictionary, Many Are Called, Signs of Life, Reasons to Believe, Answering the New Atheism, Ordinary Work Extraordinary Grace, and Living the Mysteries. His academic publications include Kinship by Covenant: A Canonical Approach to the Fulfillment of God's Saving Promises (Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library), The Kingdom of God as Liturgical Empire: A Theological Commentary on 1-2 Chronicles, Covenant and Communion: The Biblical Theology of Pope Benedict XVI, Letter and Spirit: From Written Text to Living Word in the Liturgy, along with a forthcoming title, Politicizing the Bible: The Roots of Historical Criticism and the Secularization of Scripture (1300-1700). He is the editor of the academic periodical, Letter & Spirit: A Journal of Catholic Biblical Theology, and co-editor of the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible.

An exceptionally popular speaker and teacher, Dr. Scott Hahn has delivered thousands of popular talks and academic lectures, nationally and internationally, on a wide range of topics related to Scripture, Theology and the Catholic faith. Hundreds of these presentations have been recorded and distributed by Catholic Lighthouse, The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, and St. Joseph Communications. He has appeared on hundreds of television programs on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), where he has also been the regular host and presenter on several popular 13-week series (including Our Fathers Plan, The Lamb's Super, and Genesis to Jesus).

In 2012, Dr. Hahn was awarded the Fr. Michael Scanlan Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he has taught since 1990. He is the founder and president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. In 2005, he was awarded the Pope Benedict XVI Chair of Biblical Theology and Liturgical Proclamation at St. Vincent Seminary (Latrobe PA), which he held through 2011. In 2002, he was awarded Pio Cardinal Laghi Chair of Catholic Theology at the Pontifical Seminary Josephinum (Columbus OH), which he held through 2004.

Scott graduated from Grove City College in 1979 with his BA in Theology, Philosophy and Economics (magna cum laude). He graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 1982 with his M.Div (summa cum laude). Scott received his Ph.D. in Theology from Marquette University in 1995 (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa). He has ten years of youth and pastoral ministry experience in Protestant congregations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, Kansas and Virginia (1975-85), and is a former Professor of Theology at the Dominion Theological Institute (Dominion, VA, now Chesapeake Theological Seminary). He was ordained in 1982 at Trinity Presbyterian Church (Fairfax VA). He entered the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil, 1986.

Dr. Scott Hahn was born in 1957, and has been married to Kimberly since 1979. They live in Steubenville Ohio and have six children and seven grandchildren.

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Kinship by Covenant: A Canonical Approach to the Fulfillment of God's Saving Promises (The Anchor Yale Bible Reference Library)
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